Al Jarreau Family Issues Statement After Death

Al Jarreau, 1986 (Noop1958/GPLv3)
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Al Jarreau, 1986 (Noop1958/GPLv3)

The family of Grammys-winning jazz musician Al Jarreau has issued an official statement following his death.  Jarreau was 76.

“Al Jarreau passed away this morning, February 12, 2017. He was in the hospital, kept comfortable by his wife, son, and a few family and close friends.   He will be missed.   The family asks that no flowers or gifts are sent.  Instead, please consider a contribution to the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music, a wonderful organization which supports music opportunities, teachers, and scholarships for students in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin.  

What Are Al Jarreau’s Most Classic Songs?

“Even if you do not plan to contribute, please visit that page and give yourself a minute to watch a beautiful tribute video which was produced by Wisconsin Public Television.  

“A few days ago, I was asked to describe Al to someone who knew of his success, but did not know him as a person.  I responded with this:  His 2nd priority in life was music.  There was no 3rd.  His 1st priority, far ahead of the other, was healing or comforting anyone in need.  Whether it was emotional pain, or physical discomfort, or any other cause of suffering, he needed to put our minds at ease and our hearts at rest.  He needed to see a warm, affirming smile where there had not been one before.  Song was just his tool for making that happen.  

“A few things I think Al would want mentioned right now.  To Al’s wife, son, sister, brothers and family: you allowed Al to share himself with the world.  He was grateful that you gave him that gift.  He knew it was difficult, and regretted that more than he could explain.  Please know that your gift was to us, too, and that we are also grateful.  

“Please find any artistic thing that you can do with passion, and do it.”

“To everyone who attended his concerts and listened to his albums:  he needed you, and you were always there for him, for more than 50 years.  He was thankful for you every day and tried to show that to each of you.  

“To his band, and to the many, many talented musicians, writers, composers, and arrangers who played and collaborated with him over the years: you enabled, supported and thrilled him.  He treasured you, and considered you brilliant.  He loved sharing the stage with you, and was honored that you shared it with him.  

“To each promoter, presenter and producer: thank you for your faith in him.  Your commitment to Al was both essential and endless, and he never took you for granted.  To his agents, managers, crew, counselors, publicists, and journalists who supported his work, and also to all of the airline, hotel, venue and other people who hosted him like royalty:  he noticed every bit of the dedication and effort that you unselfishly provided without limits.  And, he appreciated you completely.  

“To young people everywhere, especially the musicians he was grateful to meet at school workshops, musical competitions, residencies, and at concerts: from you, Al asks a favor.  Please find any artistic thing that you can do with passion, and do it.  With art in your life, you will be a better family member, neighbor, friend, and citizen.    

“Finally, to Al Jarreau, from all of us: Thank you. You completed your ministry in a gracious way.  

“Godspeed… you’ve earned it.”

8 Responses

  1. Quadir N. Dawan

    I had the great opportunities in my life to photograph one of Al’s concerts when I was just 20yrs old. A few years later I had the blessing to bump into Al at the old Chicago Defender building. I was putting on a Marvin Gaye exhibit and was taking out an ad in the newspaper. I recognized Al and attempted to get his attention. I did, we began to talk a bit and his assistant edged Al on saying “we gotta go”. Al told his assistant to hold on. We continued to talk. I starting talking like Al sing, he laughed, we laughed. He gave me his business managers business card and said to keep him informed about my Marvin Gaye exhibit, stating that he would like to stay for the exhibit but he had other commitments. He said he really liked Marvin Gaye also. Al Jarreau, I will miss you forever (Never will I stop listening to your music) and I’ll never forget the moment we met in the Chicago Defender Building, standing in the vestibule laughing. I’ll always cherish the photo’s I have of your concert. I’m now 59 years old. I’ll remember you forever. My brother, may god have mercy on your soul and may your family know that this was all the time god had for you to be with us. Keep the faith family. God is the greatest. Much love and appreciation, sincerely your brother in the love of music.

  2. Johnny Carter of The Mighty Mighty Dells, nephew, J.T.

    I loved ,loved, loved his music and THAT’SHE what caused me to love him. I can’t pick a best or a favorite because I loved everything he put out. His version of Waters of March, with Olena Adam’s and After All along with I Will Be There for You are are true exceptional, if I had to recommend any to newbies to his music. Man, tears flow this this brut have because I am just realizing how much of an impact he made on my life with all the excellent messages of love, peace and joy in his music. You never want to let go of something (someone) so good, but the Creator, the One Who invested that incredible soul in that almost tireless body, knows better. Thank you so much Mr Jarraeu. Still have made love for you. R.i.p. “Uncle” Al.

  3. Johnny Carter of The Mighty Mighty Dells, nephew, J.T.

    Please forgive my spelling errors. Tears.

  4. Anonymous

    I first saw Al Jarreau in Chicago at the Ivanhoe Theater in 1978, fell in love with him then and followed him around. I remember him at a theater in Niles, Il where he introduced Angela Bofill who I also loved. The best thing he ever did for me was in 1988 when I went to his concert at Ravina in a suburb of Chicago and presented him with a rose and when I went down to the stage to hand it to him, I was a nervous wreck and told him it was mt birthday which it was. He sang Happy Birthday to me using my name, it was heaven and I will always remember that and never forget Al and all his wonderful music. Rip Al Jarreau in heaven and keep singing to the Lord

    • Lina

      Wow, we may have been at the Ivanhoe on the same night! I was there with my then hubby and another dear couple. When I heard of his death, something happened to me emotionally, and because of it, I have reconnected with that same old friend from many moons ago. Al Jarreau was a gentleman, a gentle man/spirit. A precious soul, who I am oh, so grateful to have had the opportunity to see live, up close and almost personal. Thank you, Mr. Jarreau!!

  5. Anonymous

    My mom met him several times and just spoke glowingly of him; apparently just an outstanding human being. Peace to you, Al.

  6. Karol Warren

    I had a pleasure of attending a great concert of Mr jarreau in Chicago At the auditorium theatre in 1982 it was fascistic I developed a great love for his entertainment..peace in Jesus